Government intrudes into every aspect of everyone’s life and this influence is ever expanding. It consistently spends well over 40% of UK GDP and tells us the type of light bulbs or vacuum cleaners we can buy or what kind of rubbish you can put in your bin. Bureaucrats decide what healthcare or educational services we get, from whom and how. This extensive role of government conflicts with the basic principle that people are free by nature and possess certain inherent rights.
Governments need to do certain things. These include, inter alia, control of the military and police (for the first duty of government is the security of the realm), the collection of taxes and the setting of the laws and regulations so as to define the limits of acceptable behaviour within society.
Other than the above, the Partism Foundation has no views on whether any particular service should be kept within the public sector, run through an Executive Agency or sub-contracted to the voluntary or private sector. Its only remit in these matters will be to encourage the adoption of the Partism philosophy and principles in the structures chosen.
However, it is now clear that the Public Private Partnerships, heralded over the last fifteen years, have not provided the Government with value for money. This is demonstrated by the failure of Metronet (the Public Private Partnership formed for running London Underground) at a cost to the taxpayer of over £2.5bn, or the Public Private Partnership agreements for the building and running of hospitals which, in some cases, are costing, over the lifetime of the contact, 12 times as much as if the NHS Trust had built the hospitals directly. Further, it is evident from the number of times the UK’s utility companies have been bought and sold in leverage buyouts, yielding capital gains for the selling private equity houses, that the consumer has been missed out from these relationships, albeit they are supposed to be protected by a regulator. It is not possible for there to be a partnership when one important stakeholder is missing.